Game Time...Targeting Skills in a Fun and Engaging Way

This Game Theme will be just the thing to spark motivation in your students. Check out this post on Comprehension Connection for game ideas you can use with your class.

We all know that time is critical, and playing games is probably frowned upon UNLESS you have a learning target in mind. In fact, games are one engaging way to keep your students actively learning and interested. We have so many commercial options available, and you do not have to look far for many great options on Teachers Pay Teachers that will match any learning target you have.

Did you know that the 19th is National Monopoly Day?  If so, you can probably figure out that today's Thematic Thursday is devoted to building a game theme. Imagine how excited your students be if you told them ...
Now games all day may not work, but you know what the response would be. The children would be in heaven, and even though they may not realize it, they'd learn a lot.

The core of any theme is literature (in my opinion), and with a game theme, believe it or not, there are great books you could select. Below are a few of my favorites. 

Believe it or not, you can go in lots of directions with a game theme. If you want to include sports fiction or biographies, that greatly increases the options. As I searched for book choices, a few popped out to me as being excellent choices. 

The first book series I just love is Jumanji and Zanthura by Chris Van Allsburg. He has such a wonderful way of building an engaging plot with such detail that the reader can truly make a mental "movie" of them. Jumanji has already been made into a movie, and Zanthura is equally engaging. 

This week, you are in for an extra treat. I created a unit to go with this week's post. If you follow my blog, then you probably know how much I love using mentor texts, and I chose Jumanji for a new product. In this unit, students analyze the author's craft and use that learning to apply the ideas to their own writing. You can download this unit for the next 24 hours by clicking the image to the right. After that point, it will be a paid product. 

I also love the biography, Teammates. This is a great choice for fourth and fifth grade, especially if you study the Civil Rights Movement. It tells the story of Jackie Robinson's rise in baseball and how Pee Wee Reese took a stand for him. One of my students last year shared that he enjoyed Tiki Barber's book, Teammates too.

If you are using a game theme for younger readers, Julia Cook's book, It's Just a Game is a great choice to work on playing fair, losing with grace, and winning with kindness. Other books you might enjoy with primary students include Play Ball Amelia Bedelia, Henry and Mudge and the Sneaky Crackers, Clifford's Sports Day, The Berenstain Bears Play a Good Game, and Bat's Big Game
I couldn't write a game themed post without sharing game ideas. I've been building this Pinterest board to have them all in one place.
As I pinned and previewed ideas on TPT, I found a few favorites I'd like to highlight. 

I have.. Who has? Prefixes (pre, re, un, im)The first game comes from my friend, Michaela at The Reading Royalty. Her I Have...Who has?? is a print and go set. (who doesn't like those??).  Card games and board games work so well for checking understanding and for formative assessments. 

Rhyme Fold Overs (Freebie)Another great option I loved was this rhyming folder activity. It is self checking and would work wonderfully in small groups as practice for your kinders or for the firsties who still struggle with rhyming. To step it up a notch, you might pair your students and have them generate a list of other rhyming words that would go with the pair.

Dice Games - Reading and Language Arts - Freebie!The third game that I am sharing comes from Melissa Mazur. I LOVE anything Melissa makes, especially her Close Reading sets and her reading comprehension set, so when I saw this freebie, I knew it would be a great one to recommend to my readers. It's another print and go set that will serve you well. 

I know there will be many more favorites added below, and certainly, the Game Time Fun board will be growing.

With games, we can not complete a post without mentioning great apps and websites. This summer, I blogged about my favorite reading websites. Some of the sites had game options, so you might want to revisit [that post] for web ideas.

ABCYa has many options for your kids. All options are sorted by grade level and range from letter recognition and rhyme up to parts of speech, vocabulary, and more. It includes other subject matter too, so be sure to check out the options for math as well.
There are two free apps for the Ipad my friend, Jennifer at Stories and Songs in Second recommended. She's used Sight Word Ninjas and Word Bingo. You might check these out at in the Itunes Store. 

I think this looks like a very promising site. It is free on the computer and is $4.99 on the Ipad. For beginning readers, I think it's be a hit. It's kid friendly in appearance and yet looks solid on content.
Room Recess 
Room Recess was a new one to me. I liked that it offers games for upper elementary. It includes games for cause/effect, drawing conclusions, main idea, and more. It may or may not fit your needs, but it's worth a look. 

Pete's Powerpoint Station
My friend Lauren at Teacher Mom of 3 shared another excellent site with me that you will definitely want to look at for games and more. It is Pete's Power Point Station. It has presentation categorized by topic as well as theme. 

Well, I am winding down now, so I'll bring this to a close. I hope you found lots of new options to help you review content, enjoy a Game Day, or just add in a bit of fun with purpose.

If you have ideas that you'd like to share for a Game Theme? Grab the image below, and let's link up!

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